Southampton make the long trip to West Yorkshire this weekend, to face Huddersfield Town ayt the John Smith’s Stadium. Neither team is enjoying a particularly great season in the Premier League, with the Saints having changed their manager in recent weeks. Ralph Hasenhuttl took over earlier this month from Mark Hughes, and, in his first home game in charge last weekend, steered his team to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Arsenal at St Mary’s.
Huddersfield have found scoring goals a real challenge in 2018/19, and have netted on just 10 occasions in the league this season. That tally is five goals lower than Burnley, the next poorest scorers in the competition. If the Terriers can improve their firepower in attack, they have the organisation and sprit to stay in the division, but they need to find a striker from somewhere in January’s transfer window.
Huddersfield Town vs Southampton Prediction: Town 0-0 Saints
Our prediction for this contest is that it will end goalless. Southampton will be feeling confident after last weekend’s thrilling 3-2 home win over Arsenal, but that victory may also have taken something out of their legs, given the seesaw nature of the game. Huddersfield are at home, and have the backing of their passionate crowd, but their main problem is scoring goals. They work hard every week, and are not an easy team to beat, but their lack of goals has seen them fail to pick up the points that they probably have done.
Our recommended tip: Draw, 1X2
Our featured tip for this match comes courtesy of Ladbrokes, who are offering a price of 2/1 on the match ending in a draw on the 1X2 market. Backing a draw seems a good idea to us because of Huddersfield’s inability to score goals. Southampton would also probably be happy with an away point. The Saints may also have something of a hangover after their heroics against Arsenal last weekend. Playing Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium is never easy, despite the home side’s problems when it comes to finding the net.
These two sides have met on two previous occasions in the Premier League, with both of those clashes coming last season. Both games ended all-square, highlighting the evenly matched nature of these two sides. The first game was at the John Smith’s Stadium in August 2017. The game ended goalless, a result we think will be replicated this weekend. The second game was at St Mary’s in December 2017. This time, the game ended 1-1. Charlie Austin scored in the first half for the Saints, before Laurent Depoitre equalised for the Terriers after half-time.
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Players to watch: Philip Billing & Stuart Armstrong
Danish midfielder Philip Billing is a key man for the Terriers. If a team is not scoring enough goals, it needs to be resilient and touch elsewhere in the team. Billing has made 50 tackles so far in 2018/19, a sign of just how many opposition attacks he helps to break up. He has also made an average of 42.44 passes per game. He is an important partner to Aaron Mooy in the Town midfield unit.
Scotland international midfielder Stuart Armstrong was not in favour early in the season, and struggled for game time. The former Celtic man has worked his way into the team, though, and has weighed in with three goals in 2018/19, including one at Old Trafford in the 2-2 draw with Manchester United earlier this month. The attacking midfielder has produced 12 shots on goal in his 13 league appearances this season, with eight of those efforts on target.